Maybe she discovered Themeforest and is making some extra cash. If so then she has the full rights to use a photo by herself.
You should learn how to install the themes! Each theme on TF is ready to be used and have a detailed docs file. The rest info you can find in google
Don’t speak for others. authors here have no idea how WP works and make themes that mostly are just copy/paste. I know this because I saw it not only once.
I don’t like how people make fun of PHP but at the end they run a site written in PHP and make a money using it for clients.
Do not include it in the theme and use it as a plugin and you should be fine.
No, it should not be included in the theme. I must be used as a plugin.
The theme should work properly without any plugin dependency. That means if the user install your theme and he do not install any plugin(in your case Visual composer), he still should be able to create pages and the blog section should work as expected, just like the default WP theme.
If your theme does not all this, then it is not developed properly and must be hard-rejected.
Nice idea, bad execution. Unfortunatelly more than 70% of the elements have to be redesigned.